Earlier this week Jerry Stackhouse was adamant that Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson's defense on Dirk Nowitzki wasn't the killer element it's perceived to be in the playoff. He believes the Mavs simply were too passive.
So it was a positive sign Wednesday night to see the Mavs taking the ball strong to the hoop, especially in the fourth quarter when they scored 16 of their 46 points in the paint. That tied the second-highest points in the paint total. The Mavs have hit 46 three times and 50 once.
They got away from penetrating in the third quarter with just four points in the paint. Not coincidentally, the Warriors rallied to within three points three times and headed into the fourth quarter trailing by four, 89-85.
"We attacked the basket," point guard Devin Harris said of the fourth quarter. "In those stretches where they got it to three, we kind of got jump-shot happy a little bit, guys kind of took some quick shots. And then the light went on. Guys started attacking the basket and then the lead went back up. It's something we have to constantly remind ourselves. Sometimes the early jump shots are good, but when they're not going we definitely need to attack the basket the way we did."
-- Jeff Caplan